||IS UTAH SAHARA BOUND? B. Cold Temperate Desert Shrub The Colorado and Great Basin desert areas of Utah are characterized by two major shrub types. The better drained foothill areas now subjected to intensive human use through irrigated agriculture, dry farming and spring-fall grazing of livestock are dominated by sagebrush. The poorly drained, heavy clay soils of the lower valley areas are featured by a variety of deciduous shrubs, such as rabbitbrush, shadscale, greasewood and gray molly, depending on the degree of salinity and alkalinity of the specific localities. All of the cold temperate shrub communities are marked by an overwhelming dominance of one or a few shrub species. In the spring a great variety of herbaceous plants flower, then quickly disappear. C. Salt Marsh Vegetation These types occur on poorly drained, alkaline and saline clay soils of both warm temperate and cold temperate deserts. They are especially abundant in the vicinity of the Great Salt Lake and are characterized by (1) Salt weeds having succulent, fleshy leaves and stems and inhabiting soils with dry surfaces but with high water tables, and (2) Salt grass in meadows which are periodically flooded with fresh water. D. Pigmy Conifers Foothill areas of Utah at elevations of 5,000 feet to 7,000 feet are frequently forested by junipers and pinyon pine. These pigmy forests are dominated by junipers at lower elevations and by pinyon or nut pines at the upper elevations. Mixtures of nut pines and junipers are found at the mid-elevations of their belt. Spring flowering herbs are rich in the pigmy forests as they are in the desert shrub area. II. Mountain Vegetation Types E. Mountain Shrubs Pigmy forests normally give way above to a zone of shrubs. These are of two types: evergreen and deciduous. (1) Broad-leaf evergreen types include the manzinitas of the Colorado drainage and the mountain mahoganies that are generally distributed over the state. Sagebrush often forms conspicuous shrub types that may extend on dry slopes from desert plains to mountain summits. (2) Deciduous shrub types of Utah mountains include oak, serviceberry and chokecherry. F. Mountain Deciduous Forests (1) Maple forests are confined chiefly to narrow canyon bottoms at elevations between 5,500 and 7,000 feet. Here the canyon air reaches higher humidity than on the mountain slopes, where maple is shrubby in appearance. (2) Streamside trees such as birch, alder, and cottonwoods are found in the maple zone, but for survival they require damp soil adjacent to streams.